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tv   ABC World News Now  ABC  February 18, 2011 2:35am-4:00am EST

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they are upset at budget cuts and what they see as an attack on their union rights. the republican governor here scott walker, is imposing a tough budget which demands that state employees pay more for their pension and health care. >> why is this so necessary? >> for us we're broke, just like nearly every state across the country. >> reporter: what has them upset even more in many cases is a provision in that budget which would severely limit, and some people say cripple, the collective bargaining rights of state employee unions. it would leave them unable to bargain for such things as health care and pensions. and the governor is threatening to call out the national guard if essential state employees walk off the job. chris bury abc news madison, wisconsin. the wisconsin democrats deliberately fled the state to prevent -- or slow down the vote on that controversial budget bill. for a time they were hiding out in a rockford illinois hotel.
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they say they have left and the hiding out -- they are hiding out in an undisclosed location. wisconsin is not the only state struggling to make ends meet these days. as sharyn alfonsi reports, budget battles are being fought across the country. >> reporter: in new jersey governor chris christie booed by firefighter after suggesting the age of retirement for state workers had to be raised and pension plans had to be cut. >> for 20 years governors have come into this room and lied to you. promised you benefits they had no way of paying for. >> reporter: new jersey facing an $11 billion deficit this year. >> 50 times three -- >> reporter: in new york mayor bloomberg suggested cutting 6,000 teachers' jobs because of a loss in state funding. >> i don't think we can afford to lose any teachers but if we have to to balance our budget we are going to do with 6,000 fewer. >> reporter: most states unlike the federal government, have to balance their budget every year. and 2012 is shaping up to be one of the most difficult on record. 44 states and the district of
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columbia are projecting shortfalls totaling $125 billion. federal assistance would help avert some budget cuts is largely gone. legislators are looking for cuts. maine, alabama, ohio, arizona and missouri are considering limiting the power of public unions, hoping to cut their pensions and benefits. as we saw in wisconsin and ohio public workers say they now feel like public enemy number one in a battle that's just begun. sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york. an alabama man is facing up to ten years in prison for poisoning some very important trees. those trees are located in what's called toomer's corner on auburn campus. tiger fans throw toilet paper in the oaks to celebrate big wins. school administrators say there is a slim chance those beloved trees will survive. a tiny village in southern
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ecuador may hold a secret weapon in the battle of cancer and diabetes. the people are living long healthy lives virtually untouched by those diseases. researchers say there could be a medical breakthrough in their dna. jeffrey kofman explains. >> reporter: normal apollo is helping scientists identify a way to stop cancer a diabetes. when did i realize that i would not grow, he says? when i was in primary school. here in this remote region of southern ecuador, norman is one of 120 people with a rare syndrome called laron dwarfism. this doctor began studying them 25 years ago to see if he could help them. his findings just published include something unexpected and remarkable. >> i start noticing somehow in this area that we all know in ecuador are areas with high
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rates of cancer but no one of these patients have ever died of cancer. >> reporter: the doctor discovered the dwarfs are a genetic mutation which not only prevents their bodies from growing, it also stops diabetes and cancer from developing. this is not the first time scientists have identified the gene that may suppress cancer growth. but here in southern ecuador they have for the first time found it in humans. researchers in california had seen this in dwarf mice in the lab but confirming the gene acts the same in humans means by the end of this year they can begin trials on adults likely to develop cancer or diabetes. experimenting with a drug amimics the genetic if the dafb dwarfs. >> if we didn't have the human population, research would be delayed by years. >> reporter: today science is one step closer to an elusive goal, a daily pill that wards off diseases that cuts so many
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lives short. jeffrey kofman, abc news ecuador. more than 100 health care professionals are now charged with ripping off medicare. more than $225 million. they were all rounded up in nine cities across the country yesterday. most are accused of billing medicare for unnecessary procedures, which are believed to cost the government up to $90 billion every year. the los angeles tv reporter who suddenly began speaking jibberish during a live report from sunday's grampy awards show is speaking publicly for the first time. it appeared the reporter serene branson might have suffered a stroke on the air but doctors say it was due to a migraine that can mimic symptoms of a stroke. in an interview branson said watching her stand up gave her chills. >> i think it's clear from watching it that i was not drunk or on drugs, as i heard, you know, that was reported out there. that's clear. it's clear i'm having a medical
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condition. i think what resonated for most people was that human crisis of it, or you know the human element that, oh my gosh is she okay? >> she now says she is doing fine and the doctors believe this was an isolated incident, but he had is going to take a few days off just to make sure. >> that was scary to watch. i'm glad she's okay. >> i can't imagine having to watch that of yourself again. >> brutal. here's a look at your weather. high surf and heavy downpours from l.a. to san francisco. showers in the pacific northwest. up to 2 feet of mountain snow in cascades sierra and rockies. warming up in the northeast and summer-like in the south. >> and again in honor of vinita's final forecast on this last -- measure last edition of "world news now," we have a high of 70 in her namesake city of vinita oklahoma. 56 in vinita park, missouri. 44 in vancouver. and 20 in victoria minnesota. >> i have to write these down places i need to visit. it is a massive collection
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of old warm charm originally meant for kids but today it is anything but child's play. >> sotheby he's new york is selling 5,000 vintage toys and trains made between 1850 and 1940. they were designed by the best known european and american toy makers. >> they come from a single collector who acquired them over a 50-year period. you wonner how much could this possibly be worth? the entire collection is worth tens of millions of dollars, which is why it's at sotheby's because it's going to fetch a big chunk of change. >> you need a chunk of kahne change to walk in there. change to walk in there. let me tell you about a very important phone call i made. when i got my medicare card, i realized i needed an aarp...
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welcome back. while she was alive, anna nicole smith was certainly larger than life. now that life has been turned into, of all things an opera. >> this week the royal opera house if london premiered the show "anna nicole" and the bbc was there to check it out. ♪ >> reporter: big, blond and brassy, anna nicole has arrived at the royal opera house. ♪ >> reporter: it's a new opera from british composure marc anthony turnage. he says his wife suggested the former playboy play mate as a subject. at which point he heard music. >> i immediately saw that the -- that anna nicole had a voice, and i could see her singing on stage. you know, there's plenty of characters and people in real life characters i couldn't see. i couldn't see david cameron,
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for instance, singing. she had something about her. >> reporter: anna nicole smith was working a houston strip club when she met this man, a fun-loving billionaire. they came to admire each other's assets. and married. cue -- >> anna, turn this way, please. >> reporter: global celebrity. but she found fame and fortune did not lead to happiness. led to lawsuits. the man behind the controversial production jerry springer the opera, has written the words for anna nicole. did he see it as an opportunity to shock traditional opera goers? >> people confuse shock and controversy with surprise. as soon as you do something comedic, the element of price is essential. i didn't set out to do a controversial thing because that's boring. >> reporter: i'm backstage at the royal opera house on part of the anna nicole set.
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it might look a built kitsch and surreal. this is to bring a sense of urgency and excitement to this art form and this place. they say would be lost if they relied purely on the classic operas. >> there's more enthusiasm for new opera now than there ever has been before. people are coming. but the metropolitan opera takes it up or any major american house, it's obviously a feather in the royal opera house's hat. >> reporter: love the show or loathe tshgit producers will argue if it's there to sment risk-taking, then their production has struck the right now. ♪ a kiss ♪ >> reporter: bbc news. >> there are reports now that the estate bosses are upset because apparently these playwrights didn't seek their consent president the play has one in particular graphic scene involving her and jay howard marshall, the 80-year-old guy and their intimate love life.
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>> they went there, huh? >> they went there. coming up next the high school wrestler who waubed away from the state championship. >> he refused to compete because his first round opponent was a girl. you're watching "world news now."
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welcome back. an iowa high school wrestler was set to make a run at his state tournament until he learned who his first-round opponent was. >> when the sophomore found out he was matched up with a girl he said thanks but no thanks and defaulted the match. kcrg reports from des moines. >> reporter: when wrestling pairings were announced, it was two girls qualifying for the first time ever one cassy herkelman of cedar falls. today that history turned into
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controversy when linn-mar's joel northrup decided to default his match against herkelman at 112 pounds because of religious reasons. >> we did not know he was going to do that. >> reporter: his family did not contact you? >> we didn't have any conversation with the family. >> if he did that for his religion, i respect that. i mean obviously, everyone's going to be pointing fingers at him. you have to respect that. >> reporter: that was megan black, the ottumwa girl who also qualified for the state tournament. northrup and herkelman were unavailable for comment, but because of the default, the best joel can do is a third place finish, which is ironic because that's xakly whatexactly what he placed last year. from des moines john sears. >> it's interesting. his father is a pentecostal minister who believes young men
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and women should not touch each other in a familiar way. subtexts and subplots to that story. >> you heard the reporter say he'll be in third place. he was favorite to win his weight class, 35-4. so a strong season. >> a special farewell. ql8@01#hzp+túj:#, ttttrwjun+ofb1qxcb)e4emká7úa>ueúá)7'xp÷ek]a'fkunúj(7'xp÷ek]a'fkumúj(7'xp÷ek]a'fkukúj'7'xp÷ek]a'fkujúj'7'xp÷ek]a'fkuhúj&7'xp÷ek]a'fkugúj&7'xp÷ek]a'fkueúj%7'xp÷ek]a'fkudúj%7'xp÷ek]a'fkucúá%7'xp÷ek]a'fkubúj$7'xp÷ek]a'fkuaúj$7'xp÷ek]a'fkuaú"n>]n=74b#pú8br)÷gú>7&( ttttrwjun+ofb1qxcb)e4emká7úa>unúz#7'xp÷ek]a'fkumú:#7'xp÷ek]a'fkulúz"7'xp÷ek]a'fkujú:"7'xp÷ek]a'fk
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>> announcer: "world news now" delivers your "morning papers." and there it is folks, the "morning papers" on this final morning. when you first started officially got the job, they did a paper announcing you were here. today, almost three years later, we announce the end is here for this very cool and special chapter of "world news now." vinita is leaving us. as you well know there is a traditional "world news now" where we retire our anchors into the rafters and you get your final and you get your -- >> oh i always wanted one of
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these. >> the personal cutout. the whole staff has signed the back with well wishes for up. that is you. it's time to retire the jersey, in a way, as you say good-bye to "world news now." very cool tradition. take it away. ♪ ♪ >> there you go kid. are you officially retired. >> i think i just replaced jeremy, too. >> no one's really replaceable here. part of a long and fun tradition here. we know we've honored all day with some of your favorites. of course we know cake is one of your favorite things as well, too. ♪ you got to know when to hold them know when to fold them ♪ >> everything about me is about
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food. >> your favorite song is playing and know when to eat as well. the biggest red velvet cupcake on the planet. >> to one else can have any. all for me. >> and cupcakes for the staff as well here. guys, you want to come out here and surround vinita and wish her all the best if the world. from me personally it's been a pleasure working with you. and have i a lot more to say. i won't eat up your time. this is it? what would you like your parting words to be? >> this has been an incredible journey for me personally and professionally. professionally, three years ago if someone had said you would anchor network news i wouldn't have believed them so thank you so much for making me feel like part of a family all of you guys. this has been just beyond anything i could have hoped for. and i know when i'm watching tv and someone i'm not used to whether i hated them or loved them leaves, i'm like, where did i go? the short answer is i'm going to a long vacation and i'm going to sleep a lot. mom and dad, i'm not going back to to school. i'm going to stwik news. this is what i love. you can see how lucky and how
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blessed i've been. thank you so much for making this good-bye so unbelievable. i'm speechless honored and so ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] new inventory. ♪ ♪ new equipment.
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new trucks. new hires. ♪ ♪ new space. ♪ ♪ new markets. achievement seizes new opportunity. ♪ ♪ go to to see how we can help your c!chflow situation. pnc. for the achiever in us all.
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this morning on "world news now" -- union unrest. the protests at wisconsin state capital after republican lawmakers try to cut public workers' benefits. >> and the demonstrating is far from over. it's friday, february 18th. >> announcer: from abc news, this is "world news now." good morning and thanks for being with us on this friday. i'm vinita nair. >> of course, those are the big headlines of the day. lots of stuff coming up. the big news, for folks who saw the show yesterday this is your final newscast with us. vinita nair here on "world news now." for almost three years tonight, she is saying good-bye.
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i'm sad to see you go. we have a really great show lined up to you today. >> i'm happy to be sleeping again. with that, let's turn right to the news. >> one more for the road right? union members are angry because of the potential impact on their paychecks, democrats pulled a fast one and literally left the state to avoid a vote. >> also ahead this morning, medicare fraud. it is surprising how much more and more we are hearing about it. there's a widespread federal crackdown on it. what clinics are accused of doing, stealing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. >> on top of that spectacular storm on the surface of the sun. the problems caused faraway right here on earth. >> we begin with the budget showdown in wisconsin. tens of thousands of protesters are swarming the state capital, furious over a proposal they say would effectively eliminate unions for public employees. >> but the state's republican governor says he cannot balance the budget without it. chris bury reports from madison where this morning the capital is in chaos.
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>> reporter: the capital rotunda was packed, top to bottom. thousands of teachers nurses state employees of all kinds, mostly peaceful, a handful of arrests, workers claiming the governor is balancing the budget on their backs. >> i'm very upset. >> i think it's frustration more than anger that he's not listening to our voices. >> reporter: the protesters raging at the governor's plan to rein in a $3.6 billion budget deficit, demanding public employees pay more for their pensions and health care the equivalent of a 7% pay cut. for an average worker making $48,000 a year that's a $3300 hit. governor scott walker told me he has no choice. why is this so necessary? >> for us, we're broke, just like nearly have state across the country. >> reporter: just as republicans prepared to pass the bill key democrats left the state to stall the vote. capital police were looking for them. >> we hope that we are in a
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place that we'd be hard for them to find. >> reporter: what really upset state workers is a budget that strips away nearly all of their union bargaining rights over health care pengs and work rules. any wage increase beyond cost of living would require a state referendum. they blame the governor. do you think he's trying to bust your union? >> well he's -- of course he's going to. >> by taking away our rights to bargain as teachers, i don't think it's solving the budget in any way. >> reporter: are you trying to bust the union? >> no. bottom line, trying to balance the budget. >> reporter: the governor says if the law doesn't pass 10,000 public employees will be laid off. and the governor is threatening to call out the national guard if essential state workers walk off the job. chris bury abc news wisconsin. wisconsin democrats admit they fled the state hoping to prevent or slow down the vote on that budget bill. for a time they were hiding out in a rockford illinois hotel,
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not far from the wisconsin state line. now they're on the lam again in an undisclosed location. all republicans need to pass that bill is for one democrat to show up. now to the unrest in the arab world and the activists who plan to be out in full force today. despite a government ban on gatherings protesters say they won't give up until they bring down the 200-year-old monarchy. marches are planned across egypt today. the youth-led protest movement is spreading to the west bank and gaza strip. palestinian demonstrators are demanding two groups you fight. they say the deep political divide must end to a single palestinian government can form. back at home it is what attorney general eric holder is calling the largest federal health care fraud bust in u.s. history. >> more than 100 people are now charged with illegally billing medicare to the tune of hundreds
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of millions of dollars. diana alvear has details. >> reporter: good morning. this was a huge operation. and it was specifically designed to send a very specific message, that medicare funds are not for the taking. you're watching a massive sting take praiselace in the predawn darkness raiding medical facilities in seven states. >> 111 defendants in 9 cities including doctors, nurses health care company owners and executives for their alleged participation in medicare fraud schemes involving more than $225 million in false billings. >> reporter: the raids were carried out in miami, tampa, detroit, chicago, baton rouge houston, dallas, los angeles and brooklyn. abc news cameras caught one raid as it happened in brooklyn at a facility agents say billed $50 million worth of services in just two years. >> we have patients coming
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forward, some saying i didn't receive any services. i just go in there, i get paid which is a key thing. patients should not be getting paid. >> reporter: authorities also announce 131 defendants have been charged with more than $400 million in fraudulent billing. over the last two days alone. vinita rob? and in other news the effects of a large solar flare will be done being felt on earth. nasa says the flare, can is a solar storm, fired off the sun tuesday. it caused some radio disrugss postally in china, and created cool northern lights for sky watchers in the northern reaches of canada and norway. >> it's almost beautiful to see. here's a look at your friday forecast. drenching rain from l.a. to san francisco with showers in the pacific northwest. 1 to 2 feet of snow in sierra cascades and northern rockies. cooling down in the midwest but warmer in the south and all along the east coast. >> and we're checking out highs in some very special cities
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today in honor of my departing co-anchor vinita. it's 70 degrees in vinita oklahoma. 56 in vinita park missouri. more v-towns. had 44 in vancouver. and 70 virginia beach. we love a theme here at "world news now." >> i have never heard of vinita park missouri. now i have to visit that. it is a taste of decadence with an unforgettable kick. two kansas city favorites blended into one interesting combination. >> sounds good to me. introducing chocolate ale, a new concoction by boulevard brewery and a local chocolatier. they came up with a winning medley flying off the shelves. it's not just chocolate flavoring. the cocoa beans were incorped into the brewing process. >> merchants say they sold out within a few hours. this was a valentine's theme and then people loved it so much.
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>> more after this.
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washgs welcome back everybody. it is time for a look back at the week in quotes. one story the world continues to watch is the protests that are now spreading throughout the middle east. >> back home there was a lot of back and forth on capitol hill. the topic, president obama's proposed budget. here's how it all went down. >> if we're going to walk the walk when it comes to fiscal discipline, these kind of cut will be necessary. >> this is not an i got the message budget. it's unserious and irresponsible. >> if i run, and if i win, this country will be respected again. >> oh yeah, you'd really class up washington. >> we wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in iran you know the same opportunity that they saw their egyptian counterparts in the last week. >> lara was covering the celebrations in cairo last
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friday when she was surrounded by a mob, sexually assaulted and beaten. >> the protesters are starting to move out toward the military and they are -- whoa. no, no, no, no! journalist! journalist! >> he said if you tell anybody, i'll kill you. you know i will make sure that no one believes you. >> somebody now has come behind him and maybe walk over his spit. >> we had a very -- very -- let's go -- let's -- >> when you guys develop a computer that can come up with original thought, that can make me laugh and that can have emotions, then i'll start worrying. >> i think we both got a taste of what it might have been like to play against us. >> stay away from the crack, which i think is pretty good advice unless you can manage it socially, dan. >> later in the interview charlie sheen said lindsay lohan should work on her impulse
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control. whoa, that's like the pot calling to kettle to buy pot. >> i hope it's been evident how much i have czy loved this job. it has been such an exciting and wonderful career at abc here. and i have to say, i didn't even know jobs like this existed in news. >> that was your big announcement yesterday. of course that is the morning's big headline vinita's last day on "world news now." a big surprise coming your way on your last "world news now." zooishgs
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welcome back, everybody. as we've been saying since yesterday, this is vinita's final day with us on "world news now." we're so sorry to see her go. i've had the pleasure of sitting next to you for seven months but a certain gentleman, the one and only, jeremy hubbard, who anchored this program for 2 1/2
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years -- >> yea! >> that's right. lefts a few months ago. no one knows vinita better than you, my friend. >> i don't know about that. i hope her husband knows. i couldn't let this mowoccasion pass. i spent more time with you than my wife. >> she was the lucky one. >> but to mark your departure, we talked to some folks around the "world news now" news room and looked back. we came to realize, you have come a long way, baby. >> it's always good to sit next to a bona fide tv star. >> reporter: to understand what makes our favorite overnight anchor so great, have you to go back to the beginning, the very beginning. >> as far as speed, the go-ped can go 30 miles an hour. >> reporter: even as a fresh faced cub reporter in denver, it's clear you were outstanding
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in your field. nice boots, by the way. it's official vinita nair is now co-anchor of this fine show. "world news now." >> reporter: your arrival on "world news now" gave insomniacs something to celebrate. ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ >> why don't i get this every day? >> reporter: and something barry mitch toll sing about. ♪ when she pronounces her last name vinita nair ♪ >> you dance the your way into our hearts. ♪ i want to dance with somebody ♪ >> reporter: your fashion sense left us speechless. >> you have to do a little turn. that's pretty good right? >> reporter: your hunger for the job -- >> if there's one legacy i could leave on this show, it would be cake every friday. >> reporter: left us craving more. you've been here for a year. >> a year. >> i'm glad you didn't put a highlight reel. >> reporter: there were no
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highlights. we joke but the reality is you were the highlight of our nights. we've had the privilege of sharing your most personal moments from the weekend you got engaged. >> we've been dating for two years and i don't know if he wants me to say his name on air so i will not. >> reporter: to the day we sent you off to get married. >> joining us on the phone is osmund. >> hi, sweetheart. >> reporter: and good folks of vinita, oklahoma. >> be it resolved that joe johnson, mayor of the city of vinita oklahoma proclaim october 10, 200 # 9 as vinita nair day in vinita oklahoma. >> there you go! >> reporter: of course, for us every day has been vinita nair day. >> when she was getting ready for her wedding, months before every day we would do a different look a different makeup, different hair. we had a wonderful, wonderful time. i can tell you from my heart i'm going to miss her dearly. >> well she is the most down to
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earth person. people think tv folks are, you know, think they're walking on air and she's the exact opposite. she's so down home, relacked and chill and friendly i couldn't have asked for a better partner to ease me into this brand new overnight world. she's been fantastic. >> i know the show means so much to her. and she's really given so much of her time and energy. we're here in the middle of the night. you really do kind of feel like you're in the trenches with people. so she's really made her work and she's going to be missed. >> reporter: sure, we've had our news room fights. but you've kept us working together as a team even when this place seemed like a soap opera. >> you're lucky the person -- >> her smile, attitude every once in a while she would say something that got everyone in the control room or set laughing. >> information i can do nothing with. >> makes the time go by just a little quicker. >> reporter: what will all the
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late night hosts do without your comedic inspiration. >> take a look. >> back punching hair pulling fans blogging what was she thinking? abc news, new york. >> such a hard pull. there's even a facebook fan page -- it's not -- it's an anti -- >> the grandfather of the california octuplets is talking. >> what he has to say about her daughter and her huge [ bleep ]. you're watching "world news now." >> reporter: what will all those viewers do without the object of their late night joy? what will willis do without you to salivate over? >> i know it will never happen but just in case your husband doesn't work out right, give brother a call, you know what i'm saying? >> reporter: settle down willis. a lot of great female anchors have called abc home -- >> aif worked with diane sawyer barbara walters. how does she compare to them? my god how does she compare? you know what, she doesn't
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compare to them. >> reporter: that's right, you don't compare. no one is quite like our vinita and our show will never be quite the same. >> vinita, i wish you the best. you're a very special person. >> vinita good luck. we'll miss you so much. i'm so jealous you'll be sleeping at night and you'll be awake during the day, but we'll miss you a lot. >> i think vinita is as talented as she is beautiful and smart and down to earth. extraordinarily likeable. whatever she's going to do next she'll be successful. i think for her, the best advice is be yourself. you've worked on this show and it will work on whatever else you do down the road. >> oh, yes, indeed. a look back. engineerpy, you did a -- >> i succeeded in making her cry. >> i see tears already. >> i got you a little gift there, if you can look at it real quick. it's a candle holder. but if you read it it's personalized for this show. it's the lyrics --
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>> oh my god! >> -- to the "world news" polka. so you will never forget it. >> i know we're wrapping up. it was an honor. you were the big brother i never have -- well, i have one, but great with you also. thank you, guys. incredible. attack or stroke but if you've been diagnosed with p.a.d., or have pain or heaviness in yur legs, i want to talk to you. you may have heard of poor leg circulation which could be peripheral artery dsease, or p.a.d. with p.a.d., if you have poor circulation in your legs, you may also have poor circulation in your heart or in your brain your risk for heart attack or stroke is more than doubled with p.a.d. now, ask yourself: am i at risk? if you're not sure call for this free information kit to learn more. [ female announcer ] call the toll free number on the screen now to find out what the risks of p.a.d. really are. you'll find a 7-point checklist
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as our special good-bye vin eat, special edition "world news now," in the northeast corner of oklahoma sits a little toin with a population of 6,000 folks and happens to share its name with our win and only vinita. tonight we're joined on the phone by a very special guest, the mayor of vinita oklahoma joe johnson. good morning, mr. mayor. >> good morning, rob and vinita. how are you doing? >> we're doing good mr. mayor. what do you to want say to vinita on her final night of the show?
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>> i would like to say good luck to her. i know she's going to be great in whatever she does. i just hope that we are able to find out what that's going to be and can kind of follow her down the road. in fact, she'd make a great addition to the city of vinita oklahoma. >> can i chime in. when we had them proclaim vinita nair day, we did it with the agreement we would travel to vinita oklahoma and be judges in their frying contest and we couldn't make it. my sincere apologies we couldn't make it. >> i wish you could have been here this year although my cooking team did win the contest. >> to be clear, they are rocky mountain oysters, bull testicles, so you can understand why we didn't want to go. >> so you've been there? >> yes mayor, have i been there when i realized there was a vinita, oklahoma when i was
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driving to college from texas to chicago, i made it a point to drive through. i have been to your mcdojdz.nald'scdonald's. took my picture with vinita gun and pond throughout the city. >> you didn't try the testicles, just for the record? >> no i didn't. >> did you know vinita mc mcdonald's largest mcdonald's -- >> are you kidding me? of course i do. >> it's two-story. >> i hope i have lived up to the name vinita. i'm honored you took the time to call mayor. thank you so much. >> you're certainly welcome. >> what was your raek the first time you found there was a network anchor named after the town? did that catch you off guard the first time you found that out? >> yes. >> i will tell you one thing -- >> i get up have now and then -- you come on here at 2:30 so i turn it on every now and then to make sure vinita is still there.
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>> oh. >> mr. mayor, thank you so much for joining us. we sincerely appreciate it. all the folks, our vinita [voice of alicia keys] over 1000 babies are born every day withth hiv. and half will die bebefore their second birthday. but the plain truth is this can alall be prevented. we can reach thehe goal of no child born with hiv by 2015. go to one dot g. together we can stop the spread of hiv frorom moer to child. we're not asking for r your money.. we're asking for your voice. go to onone dot org and join us today.
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this morning on "world news now," mayhem in madison. the fierce fight over union benefits reaches a boiling point in wisconsin. the protest over budget cuts, politics and paychecks goes into another day. it's friday, february 18th. good morning happy friday. i'm rob nelson. >> i'm vinita nair. wis quis's new governor is in the national spotlight after they went after public workers' benefits. how the democrats staged their own budget protest. also ahead in this half
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hour, unrest in the middle east. today's rallying across egypt and how recent developments in the arab world have put the u.s. in a very delicate situation. also this morning, the topic that keeps on surfacing. sarah palin's political intentions. the big question will she run for president come 2012? looks like another hint from her. very interesting. our big headline is your last show with us here. you're soaking up the final minutes with us. a lot in store as we say good-bye to vinita. >> still got a little time left. >> we had a few tears already. we'll see how it goes. first in the news massive grassroots protest over wisconsin's anti-union budget plan. the state capital has become a virtual ground zero for battles in cash-poor states across the country. >> wisconsin's governor says cutting benefits is a crucial step toward closing the budget gap. but critics say it's much more than budget balancing, it's union-busting. t.j. winick has details. good morning. >> reporter: good rning. we have been hearing these knock
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down, drag out fights were on their way and now that they've arrived, we are getting a sense of the pain involved in trying to balance these state budgets. wisconsin state capital was practically under siege again thursday. over 30,000 protesters marched. >> it is an assault on us. >> reporter: voicing their opposition to a first in the nation bill which strips state workers of nearly all their collective bargaining rights. senators boy kotded a special senate session top to block the vote they fled the state to rockford, illinois. >> we feel delaying the vote for a while, the people of the state will have more opportunity to talk about this issue. >> i have faith that you know after they do their stunt for a day or two, it's more about theatrics than anything else, they'll come back and realize again their elected job. >> reporter: republican governor scott walker introduced the bill a week ago to help solve what's
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expected to be wisconsin's $3.6 million budget shortfall. the most aggressive antiunion proposeal has already passed the state assembly. >> what you're about to do is destroy the fabric of who we are. and i can't figure out why. >> reporter: all over the country, with states billions of dollars in the red, the lines are being drawn. new jersey's chris christie also wants to slash state employee benefits. connecticut's governor dan malloy is asking for $2 billion in savings. >> because their current wage, health care and pension benefit levels are simply not sustainable. >> reporter: governor walker has warned that if protests disrupt state services, will he deploy the wisconsin national guard. t.j. winick, abc news, new york. throughout the middle east activists say they'll be out in full force. protesters are adamant. they say they will not give up their fight until they bring down the 200-year-old monarchy and marches are planned across
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egypt today to celebrate last week's resignation of president hosni mubarak. all mid east countries rocked by political upheaval have one critical thing in common -- they're all key allies of the u.s. and our fight against terrorism. the question now is will their civil unrest threaten our national security? here's jake tapper. >> reporter: the u.s. government protested the loss of life in bahrain but the secretary of state made clear the u.s. alliance with that state is solid. >> is a friend and ally. >> reporter: bahrain is home to more than 4,000 u.s. military personal at the only u.s. naval base in the region and home to u.s. navy's fifth fleet. >> we have advised all our sailors to avoid sites where protests are occurring. >> reporter: they have been there to protect u.s. intrs, including the strait of hormuz. 19% of daily oil imports to u.s. come from middle east.
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across the middle east pro-democracy protests are spreading in the very places where the u.s. government has for years relied upon arab regimes that are the targets of those protests. yemen, where protests have raged for seven days is led by a regime that allows the u.s. to target al qaeda within its borders. the most active al qaeda franchise. in jordan where tensions are also simmering, their intelligence agency helped track the former leader of al qaeda in iraq abu musab zarqawi who the u.s. killed in 2006. in saudi arabia the government alerted the u.s. government last october about explosionves hidden in toner cartridges shipped by plane to chicago. >> these countries give us agents, give us intelligence and really are an extended arm of the cia. and the u.s. defense department. >> reporter: there has been a real sense of deja vu at the white house, urging them to show restraint, respect protesters demonstrating in the streets.
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bahraini government not necessarily getting the message. we pay have seen this movie once before. jake tapper abc news the white house. sarah palin played it cool on whether she will run for president next year. before a business group in new york, palin would only say she is thinking about running. she also criticized president obama on many issues including his handling of the crisis in egypt and his new budget proposal. >> i am sick and tired of the games that are being played in washington, d.c. because we're talking about our money. we're talking about our kids' future. we're talking about our republic. and the solvency of our republic. >> palin also took issue with some of her own supporters. those who claim mr. obama was not born in the u.s. and muslim. she calls their claims distracting and annoying. here's a look at your friday forecast and it's a good one for us. more heavy mountain snow across cascades. up to 3 inches of rain in southern and central california.
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showers from seattle to portland. high surf along the pacific coast. >> today's temperature map is all things v to mark vinita's final day on the show. towns i've never heard of. 48 in vansboro, maine. a wet 59 in vista, california. 20 in vatican, louisiana. and a beautiful 70 degrees in the one and only vinita oklahoma. and a beautiful day here in new york on your last day. a good omen. >> i got lucky. grownups in l.a. are taking a hit to release stress. >> they are turning back the clock to elementary school and suiting up for dodge ball. man, i love that game. the all-adult teams say it's all in good fun. they have come up with some pretty catchy names like the good the bad and the ballscy. >> some of these players are well into their 40s and they say the game is therapeutic and it
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helps they use a no-sting ball. >> very important. don't break a hit, guys. more "world news now" congress up after this.
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[ male announcer ] 100 crisps in every can. ♪ ♪ 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ ♪ 100 crisps, 100 ways. ♪ ♪ everything pops with pringles. with just 71 days to go until the royal wedding, here at "world news now" we're searching yahoo! for more on the barf bags we told you about yesterday. others, well, they're searching for important information on the wedding party itself. >> what else is trending this week? yahoo! web life editor heather cabot is here to tell us. good morning, heather. >> good morning, guys. the anticipation of prince william and kate middleton's impending nuptials is turning feverish.
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and the big day isn't even until april. news of the couple's bridal party sent searches soaring this week especially for maid of honor, pippa middleton. yahoo! users wanted to see what she looked like and get the scoop on her social life. searches for pippa spiked 5,000% this week. if the wedding at westminster abbey is out of your reach, how about tying the knot under the golden arches? if you live in hong kong you can take advantage of mcdonald's new wedding package. a mcwedding if you will. for 1300 bucks you get invitations, decorations, wedding gifts and, what else fries and big macs. the novel idea intrigued lots of people online this week. another story ramping up on the web is the chicago mayoral race. with election day coming up on tuesday, people continue to look for info on the candidates. rahm emanuel remains especially popular in search. queries for his name are 38 times that of his rival jerry
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chico, and most of those searches are by d.c. residents, not chicagoans. of course, other news this week dominated searches as well. people were riveted by the shocking reports of a sexual assault on cbs news correspondent lara logan while she covered the celebration of hosni mubarak's resignation. and they also wanted to know more about bernie madoff. in his first interview, the convicted felon raised questions about what the banks knew about his ponzi scheme and when. finally, all this searching online is apparently keeping a lot of us from getting enough shut-eye. a new yahoo!/readers digest survey finds 78% of adults admit they stay up too late because they're busy online. i guess if they're already up, hopefully they'll stay up and watch you guys, too. by the way, vinita, best of luck in your endeavor. take care, guys. >> that was so sweet from her. she anchored the shows. she knows i'll be doing a lot of sleeping. >> you have earned it, that's for sure. >> coming back soon, i think.
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>> we are coming back. >> i didn't know if there was another surprise here. >> coming up later, the fun is just getting started. we have a very special "skinny" coming up.
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♪ skinny so skinny ♪ ♪ skinny so skinny ♪ well, my dear, on your final day here on the show, "the skinny" is all about you. very special edition of "the skinny" for our departing "world news now" anchor, as we've said, today is vinita's final day. i've been sitting next to you since july about seven months but we have crammed quite a bit of fun if those seven months including some moments we didn't even know were being taped, but they were. >> oh, no. >> a look back at favorite moments. >> what a wonderful monday morning it is for us at "world news now." we have new world cup champion and a new face. >> it is great to be here. it's hard to believe it's here. the last couple of days watching behind the scenes. >> if you told me i could do this show in a wife beater, i would. >> this is how we start our day every day at abc on the overnights. i coming in around 10:30. this is what i look like before all the hair and the makeup. ♪
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>> i'm not the biggest fan of hairspray, but i've learned to love it. pretty. that's my favorite part when she goes "pretty ". >> i have like four episodes of housewives of atlanta to catch up on. don't tell me anything. i'm so excited to go home. >> it's ripping in here. >> oh! >> i hope my parents aren't up right now. >> showers across seattle, spokane -- spokane, right? >> spokane. >> oh. >> oh, man. >> on facebook. >> get it, book, face. >> that's the "world news now" facebook. >> get it? >> i like that. you got a lot of fans? >> i have about 20,000. >> but you got a man. you got a man? that's what i'm talking about? you looking for a man? >> not interested. >> look at that. >> i got to be a soap star for a day acting alongside some of daytime's biggest television stars.
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>> how is she doing, doctor? >> remarkably well under the circumstances. i'll be right back. >> this is my favorite part coming up. wait for it. you can keep talking. >> so this is good -- >> so, this is it. >> that's why he wore a tie. >> more after this, folks. >> it's 3:00 in the morning. >> sandy, do you have to take that tight shot all the time? >> come on, sandy. >> yeah. ♪ i'll be there ♪ >> i'm still on the overnights. >> a little light breakfast here on "world news ". >> i like this. nice way to start my morning. might make the show a little better >> anything for the environment, folks. be good. see you in two minutes. >> i don't want to be a part of this bit. it's gross. >> check out to check out more beautiful images. >> or you can join us under the sea. we've never had this shot
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before. now you can see my running shoes, too. ♪ i feel the earth move under my skin ♪ is that the line? my feet? i don't know what the line is. >> you look good out there, vinita. >> i look awful. >> you were doing the moon walk and everything out there. >> are you seeing what's happening behind us? >> oh, man. look at that. vinita out. >> i can't get out. i'm plugged in. let me out of here! no, no, no, no. >> i missed. >> good shot! >> most of you who watch regularly, you can tell we are in a brand new set to start off the new year. >> unintentionally rob and i decided to dress like the set. we said, let's go all blue. >> it makes it so much better to know it's live tv. i have to feed this to you, too? >> oh, yeah. i like that.
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>> oh. oh, you just made his whole weekend. >> i hope it has been evident every night that you have been here with us how much i have crazy loved this job. it has been such an exciting and wonderful career at abc here. and i have to say, i didn't even know jobs like this existed in news, till i got here. >> a lot goes on in seven months, that kind of crazy. we can't let you leave without a few gifts, too. >> i am mortified people have seen me in my craziness before the show starts. that's how i stay awake. >> you like to jam out to the music. we love that. you also love to steal bananas from the snack room. we have a few gifts. a full bushel of bananas so you request can home since you can't steal from the snack room anymore. plus we know you love fresh flowers. jimmy has your bananas. you no longer have to steal. jeremy, your buddy and former anchor. >> it smells like a funeral home.
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>> the death of a career, right? >> i had to get you some gifts, too. >> oh, my gosh. >> this is a bottle of very good champagne. i want you to enjoy when you're off next week. >> oh, sweet. thank you! >> i want you to enjoy that. also here are great graphics. we have so many great graphics. this is a picture of us on the show wearing our "world news now" t-shirts on our old set. that's to hang up for good times. >> that's great. >> you love your coffee so famous new orleans coffee for your morning as you read "the new york times" and chilling out. and you also tease me -- you tease me often because i go home after the show and with my eggs i have a nice glass of wine, which you find bizarre, so i got you a bottle of wine, because i want you to enjoy wine. >> i'll never have this with eggs, ever. >> and here are the eggs that i want you to have it with. i want to tell you, a glass of wine makes life better. this is all the stuff. we are loading you up with gifts. >> i have to say, if any of you wonder why i'm such a freak between these shows, this is why.
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it is the most fun staff in the world. take a look at these gifts, you can see why it is so hard to leave. you and jeremy -- it was so hard when you left. thank you. it's so wonderful. >> you're welcome. and we will be back with another surprise, something she's wanted for a long time. surprise, something she's wanted for a long time. well, we've been left behind by so many mops and brooms... aw, man! ...but we have got... see ya! ...each other. ♪ what about love?! ♪ [ male announcer ] swiffer attracts dirt. the 2 in 1 swiffer sweeper uses electrostatic dry cloths to trap and lock more dirt than a broom and uses dirt dissolving wet cloths to clean better than a mop. you're quite the pickup artist! [ male announcer ] 2 in 1 swiffer sweeper gives cleaning a whole new meaning.
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i feel like oprah. we're making dreams come true today. this is something vinita has asked for since she arrived at "world news now" almost three years ago. we have served fruit and yogurt, cereal, bland, normal boring everyday breakfast stuff here because abc is a little cheap. but vinita complains it's not a true, all-american hot breakfast spread every day. we love to eat around here. turn around. your dream of a hot breakfast for everybody. >> oh, everyone, come and eat! >> so, we're not going to australia but we are going to eat well today for sure. we have eggs, hash browns, we got -- >> everyone, eat! >> staff, come on out and grab a hot breakfast. hot food.
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no more bagels and cereal -- >> control room, don't worry, when i made this wish, i included you guys in it because you are awesome and make this show work. there's plenty of food up here. we'll save some food for you guys down there that run the show, basically. >> let me do the honor of feeding you on the air. you know your like your hot breakfast -- >> that wasn't part of the wish, oprah. >> we'll see where that goes. bacon in there, harsh browns. dig in. a full plate. >> wow. >> thank god for all night diners in new york city. hot breakfast, finally. >> there's forks here, spoons here. >> please, eat, everybody. one thing we do on this show is eat well. on the last night for you, we're not diverting from that course. we asked, if you haven't noticed yet, when news went out yesterday on facebook you were leaving, we had incredible response from everyone who love and adore vinita. i'm going to read you a few things people have said. incredible response. from debra, one of your many fans, you're like losing
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starlight from our night sky, that wonderous twinkle that lit up our tvs. awesome fans here. from fred here, well, my early mornings won't be the same. i will miss your being there in the morning. even the bad news looks better when you are delivering it. and then one of my favorites from marcus, another "world news now" fan says, i'm in love with vinita! this is the worst news i heard since i found out she's married. good luck, love. i will miss ya face, smile and just you giving us the news. virgil says, i watch you almost every morning. i admit at first i was mostly drooling but i have come to love your humor, style and professionalism. i hope you are moving on to something you love more than you love "world news now." hundreds of people wrote in on facebook. i can tell you just from a personal note here that is genuine heartfelt people who love you. love watching you on the show. take all of that good with you when you walk out of this building tonight. that's the stuff that count. that's the stuff that means something. enjoy that feeling. enjoy that feeling. i know it's hard to leave. but it's good. those people meant it. they love you. they're watching right now. so, eat your breakfast.
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>> this is the best. >> yes. another wish. >> thank you. >> breakfast. >> thank you. >> you're very welcome. that's it for this half hour.
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